The power of gratitude is so immense, we usually totally underestimate it. The human heart tends, again and again, to find itself on a path towards inner imprisonment, locked within itself through bitterness, resentment, criticism and fear. But there is a door that leads out of the prison of isolation. And the key to this door is gratitude.
As soon as I start to look around me and see and feel all that I have been given, all that I am – in this very moment – being given, the door begins to open. To see this day as a gift, my next breath as a gift, the chance to learn and grow as a gift – this opens my heart to the world again, beginning a reunion of the soul with the giving-creative power of the universe. In the communion service, the central prayer that leads to union with the divine is a prayer of thanksgiving. That is why it is called in greek, the “Euchariste”. And this is why, especially in this time of year with the fullness of the summer sun shining all around us, we turn to this power of gratitude during the festival season of St. John. This is captured most beautifully by the author Melody Beattie
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
– Melody Beattie
Patrick Kennedy is a priest in The Christian Community in College Park, MD. You can find out more here: http://www.ccgwb.org / www.thechristiancommunity.org